Five high school football players were shot Tuesday in a deadly “ambush” after a scrimmage in Philadelphia, authorities said. A 14-year-old boy was killed.
Two gunmen are thought to have opened fire after a game at Roxborough High School, killing the 14-year-old boy, Philadelphia Police First Deputy Commissioner John Stanford told reporters.
The players were walking off the field when gunfire erupted from a light green Ford Explorer, police said in a statement.
The teen was struck in the chest and pronounced dead at a hospital at 5:09 p.m., the statement said.
Other victims included a 17-year-old who was struck once in the arm and three times in the leg and a 14-year-old who was hit once in the thigh, the department said. Another player suffered a graze wound, Stanford said.
Details of the fifth victim’s injuries were not immediately available.
No victims or suspects have been publicly identified. A motive remained unknown, Stanford said.
Players from three schools had been involved in the scrimmage, Stanford said. All of those who were struck attend Roxborough, northwest of downtown Philadelphia, he said.
The gunmen appeared to have fired “a lot” of bullets at the players, Stanford said.
“The biggest piece of this — there’s a 14-year-old doing what students do, having football games at the end of the day,” Stanford said. “It’s one of the things we encourage our kids to do.”
Speaking to reporters, Philadelphia School Superintendent Tony B. Watlington Sr. said he was “personally disturbed and quite frankly angry with this senseless act of violence.”
The shooting happened the same day Mayor Jim Kenney signed an executive order banning guns at city recreation centers, playgrounds, pools and similar facilities, which have recorded 18 shootings this year and 300 since 2019, NBC Philadelphia reported.
More than 1,400 people have been struck in nonfatal shootings this year in Philadelphia, city data shows. There have been 400 homicides, a 1% drop from the same time last year, the city’s most violent on record, according to NBC Philadelphia.
Gemma DiCasimirro and Yasmeen Persaud contributed.